[ proh-feyj ]
/ ˈproʊˌfeɪdʒ /

noun Microbiology.

a stable, inherited form of bacteriophage in which the genetic material of the virus is integrated into, replicated, and expressed with the genetic material of the bacterial host.

Origin of prophage

1950–55; shortening of French probactériophage; see pro-1, bacteriophage Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for prophage

/ (ˈprəʊfeɪdʒ) /


a virus that exists in a bacterial cell and undergoes division with its host without destroying itCompare bacteriophage

Word Origin for prophage

C20: by contraction from French probactériophage; see pro- ², bacteriophage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for prophage

[ prōfāj′ ]


The latent form of a bacteriophage in which viral genes are incorporated into bacterial chromosomes disrupting the bacterial cell.probacteriophage
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.